Senate Republican leader concerned for retail leviathan’s future investment in local job growth
OLYMPIA…Amazon’s announcement today of two locations – New York City and Arlington, Virginia – as the homes for new headquarters ends the long and closely watched search for its next wave of investment and employment.
The decision also begins a new conversation in Washington: What now?
Sen. Mark Schoesler, R-Ritzville, offered this assessment:
“Amazon may not have picked up and left town, but it has slowed its job growth in Washington. The 25,000 jobs the company will create between the two new locations would have been very welcome in any of the Washington cities that submitted bids.
“We saw tremendous hostility directed toward Jeff Bezos and the growing pains of being home to such a large company, during the Seattle City Council’s ‘jobs tax’ debacle. It’s clear that many in the greater Seattle area don’t appreciate the contribution Amazon has made to the region’s prosperity. I hope Amazon’s HQ2 decision does not result in the loss of jobs already located here. We need to redouble our efforts to ensure those jobs stay here and local growth continues.
“Amazon has proven itself to be a good neighbor. Job loss is the number-one cause of homelessness and Amazon provides thousands of jobs to Washingtonians. The company makes a huge effort to help Seattle’s homeless population, but the most significant thing it does is keep families from ending up in tent cities in the first place by keeping them employed. I hope it continues to grow beyond the 45,000 employees it has locally.
“Legislators and community leaders need to think about what changes need to be made to Washington’s business climate to prevent more of our largest employers from steering new jobs elsewhere.”
Schoesler also outlined actions the Legislature could take to make Washington even more job-friendly:
- Pass his proposed ban on future jobs-tax legislation;
- Ensure Washington does not enact an income tax on capital gains, which would lead to a full-blown income tax;
- Level the playing field in manufacturing by giving all manufacturers in Washington the lower business and operations tax rate now available only to aerospace manufacturers;
- Lower Washington’s workers’ compensation and unemployment-insurance taxes; and
- Continue to compete to be the home of the anticipated Boeing 797 assembly line.